ONDC Partners With NABARD To Initiate E-Commerce In Agritech The partnership focuses on promoting the development of innovative solutions that are likely to aid the adoption of e-commerce in agricultural domain

By Teena Jose

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The government's open network for digital commerce (ONDC) is working to activate e-commerce in the agriculture domain. It is done with the partnership of national bank for agriculture and rural development (NABARD). ONDC and NABARD have come together to host a grand hackathon on July 1 to 3. The Grand Challenge aims to establish market linkages for the enabled players with market-ready farmers producer organizations (FPOs) in the country. It also focuses on promoting the development of innovative solutions that are likely to aid the adoption of e-commerce in the agriculture domain.

T Koshy, CEO of ONDC, said in a news report quoted as saying, "This is the first initiative to introduce FPOs to technology. NABARD and ONDC will be planning Grand Challenges across multiple states in partnership with state governments and the ministry of MSME. The hackathon has more than 400 entities registered, out of whom around 250 are agritech startups while 150 are non-agritech startups."

As per his words, the agritech entities include Ninjakart Agmart, John Deere, Arun Dairy Farm and Udyami Kisan Agro Producers Company Ltd. The non-agritech companies include Phygital24, SiS tech, Neartail, Find.ai, Tata Cummins, ThoughtWorks, Zoho, Sonata Software, Bosh global software, Alpha IoT and Centrix.

"NABARD is one of the earlier investors in ONDC. We decided to adopt a programmatic approach to encourage rural tech innovations, and give them an opportunity to experiment in ONDC. With interesting problem statement, they can test their solutions and will be provided with some hand-holding in terms of finance. This is to help products of diverse sellers or artisans be available in the market," Koshi further added.

As per reports, the Indian government has been working on ONDC since July 2021 and the platform was officially launched in December 2021. Apart from NABARD, many public and private banks have also invested in ONDC. In April, ONDC went live on five cities including Delhi, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Shillong and Coimbatore and it had plans to add 150 retailers from five cities during the pilot phase.

Later, after the pilot phase, around 24 e-commerce startups started working on integrating with ONDC such as Flipkart-backed logistics provider, Ekart Logistics, hyperlocal quick commerce, Dunzo and PhonePe, digital payments company.

As per market studies, the global agritech market is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 12.1 per cent between 2020 to 2027, wheras India's agritech market is estimated to reach at $24 billion by 2025.

Teena Jose

News Desk Reporter with Entrepreneur India

Teena is a post graduate in financial journalism. She has an avid interest in content creation, digital media and fashion.

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